Not everyone follows one definitive health and fitness philosophy to reach their fitness goals. That’s why gyms connect you with a personal trainer when you first join rather than handing out a common user manual. While there’s no set workout regime that everyone is expected to follow, there definitely is a code of conduct that needs to be kept in mind every time you head to the gym to work out. If you’ve been unaware of its existence all this time, here’s what to do (and what not to).
1. If You Use It, You Put It Back
This is one of the most basic tenets of gymming but sadly one of the most flouted. You’ve just loaded up the barbell to bust out four sets of heavy deadlifts (or bench presses, depending on what day it is), how hard is it to put the weights back where you found them? Not only is it extremely discourteous in general, having to replace the weights you used inconveniences those who use the machine after you.
2. Clean Up After Yourself
Another extremely basic rule that’s inexplicably ignored by many. We get it, you’re working hard at the gym and that obviously means sweating a lot. No one expects you to stop sweating all of a sudden, but wiping a machine down after you’ve used it won’t take more than five seconds of your time, and saves an unsuspecting individual the horror of having to sit in puddles of your sweat.
3. Personal Space Is A Thing
You might find people of a similar age and with similar interests at the gym (quite obvious, since you’re both there working out) but you have to be open to the possibility that not everyone is there to make friends. If you feel lonely, find a friend to be your gym buddy but don’t force your conversation on someone who clearly isn’t up for it!
It’s just as important to give people physical space to work out in peace. Sure, the gym might get crowded at times but that doesn’t mean you have to stand on someone else’s toes to complete your fitness workout! This is for your good as much as it is for their convenience—you don’t want to get hit by a stray dumbbell, do you?
4. You Get What You Give
The logic is simple—if you help people out at the gym, they’ll help you out in return. However, if you refuse to provide any assistance, don’t expect help when you need it! Spotting is a prime example. If someone acts as your spotter the least you can do is extend the same courtesy when they ask you to spot for them.
5. You’re Not The Only Person There
When you’re at the gym you should focus on your own workout and not on what other people are doing. However, ignoring the existence of other people altogether isn’t an option. Don’t be the guy who hogs dumbbells or sits on the weight bench for half an hour talking on the phone while doing one set every ten minutes. Loud grunting is a no-no too—it might help with your lifts but you’re putting everyone else off theirs.
6. Sharing Is Caring
It’s something we’ve been taught ever since we were children and it applies at the gym as well. Even if it’s packed there’s no reason why people can’t work together to get the best out of their fitness workout! Alternate with someone else on machines and share dumbbells with people who’re using the same weight as you are. it’s a win-win for all concerned.
7. Every Gym Is Different
We’ve been telling you about a uniform code of conduct at the gym but we’ll end by telling you to remember that every gym has its own set of rules and regulations as well. What was cool at your previous gym might be frowned upon at your current one, so it’s always best to clarify before you make yourself completely at ease in your new surroundings. Dress code and timings are some variables that might change from gym to gym.
Follow these common-sense rules when you work out and you’ll only catch admiring glances rather than angry stares from your fellow gym-goers!